Canadian artist Andre Ethier‘s oil paintings are rich with all the messiness of life. He seems to find and expose more beauty and meaning from the unsavory elements of life than the average person does from generic blue skies and roses. I remember catching some of his works in person a few years ago and each one just glowed with so much power — hobos and monsters leering and searching from behind syrupy glazes. And Ethier’s quasi still lifes, well, they’re practically wall-mounted explosives. See what I mean after the jump.
Erin McCarty paints from somewhere deep within. Her colorful, chaotic paintings often channel fear, anguish, and desire in ways that are palpable. The bold leaf- and crystal-like motifs used throughout seem somehow magically charged. All in all, I find it hard to believe that this artist is fairly fresh out of art school. It must be that the cold, crisp air of Alaska stimulates her creativity.
Bold Surreal landscapes with a dash of colorful abstraction by Ricky Allman.
Jay Briggs is a London-based designer who uses unconventional materials and dark, empowering themes in the creation of alternative women’s fashion. The two lookbooks featured here, entitled Malleus Maleficurum and Melusina, draw on witchcraft and folklore as their inspiring influences, the former referring to the book written by inquisitor Heinrich Kramer in 1486, the latter referencing a European myth about a water nymph, which Briggs has given his own dark twist (you can read more about that here). Among his gothic designs are elaborate headpieces and couture that transform his models into dark specters and serpentine creatures, as beautiful as they are fierce. Incorporated into some of the pieces are taxidermied objects — from feathers, to entire wings, to hundreds of iridescent beetle shells — fused so seamlessly with the looks that we perceive the beauty of the designs before the grimness of their reality.
Briggs’ work is a product of extreme dedication and attention to detail. As he explains in an interview with Portis Wasp, the collection Malleus Maleficurum took 5 months of constant work to create, and all the intricate pieces were painstakingly embellished by hand. Beyond the dark details, what makes these two lookbooks so notable is the origin and depth of their influences — the history and the folklore — and how Briggs has reinterpreted them through contemporary, avant-garde fashion, enmeshing everything into a complete and original narrative. His style is consistently stunning, bringing an expressive and often macabre edge into the world of fashion. Visit Briggs’ website, Facebook page, and Instagram and follow him as he creates his upcoming designs.
Lynda Benglis emerged decades ago as an artist breaking barriers and shifting paradigms. Pouring neon paints in exhibition spaces served not only as an action on the figure of the artist, but while these pieces created installations, the poured paint was also viewed and handled by Benglis as an object, and preserved as such. Years later her poured paint artworks are preserved and installed in their original format- which presents a transformative dynamic that the artist established.
Paint has historically been used to create imagery on a foundation- canvas, wood, paper, etc. In this common format the paint becomes an object of art only after joined with a substrate. Benglis was a forerunner in breaking away from this. Today there are a number of artists pushing forward on this notion, and breaking away further in the development of their bodies of work. Artists Linda Besemer, Margie Livingston, Ryan Peter Miller, Laura Moriarty, David Allan Peters and Leah Rosenberg all create works that demonstrate the vast spectrum with which paint as a medium has been torn from the substrate and presented conceptually and physically as a substance that can be molded.
Margie Livingston recently presented a new body of work in her solo exhibit “Objectified”at Luis De Jesus Gallery in Culver City. Having spent years casting and sculpting paint, Livingston’s portfolio demonstrates an evolved investigation into forms and space, substance and the function of the object. In her newest work she casts and sculpts acrylic paint alone into slabs that appear as wood planks, the patterning of hues reminiscent of wood grain. The wood-like planks, sheets and stumps are then used in the formation of minimalist sculpture.
Paintings by Fredrik Åkum.